NBC News Fires Producer Who Edited Zimmerman 911 Emergency Call
April 8, 2012


NBC News has fired the producer responsible for the edited audio tape of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin.
The producer — who remains unidentified — was fired on Thursday, according to initial reports by The New York Times and Reuters, though NBC has not provided an official statement.
On the tape, which ran on NBC’s “Today” show, Zimmerman appears to tell dispatch, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black,” before shooting Martin.
In fact, the full dialogue was as follows:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
DISPATCHER: OK, and this guy – is he black, white or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
NBC launched an internal investigation earlier this week.

Cleaver Introduces Trayvon Martin Resolution
April 5, 2012

KC Star:

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver has introduced a House resolution condemning “vigilante justice” in the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, and urging states to repeal so-called Stand Your Ground laws.
Martin was shot and killed in an altercation with George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman remains free in part because Florida authorities determined he acted in self-defense, a decision that has prompted scores of demonstrations and further investigations.
Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The resolution — co-sponsored by three Florida House members — accuses Zimmerman of “racial bias” in the shooting.
In a news release, the former Kansas City mayor criticized the Stand Your Ground concept, which generally allows citizens to legally defend themselves without a requirement to retreat.
“It is imperative that we shine a light on this controversial, dangerous, and sometimes deadly law that has been adopted in over 20 states, to protect our communities, and the integrity of our nation’s legal system,” Cleaver said in the statement.
But Kevin Jamison, a lawyer and board member with the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, accused Cleaver of political posturing.
“He obviously doesn’t understand what Stand Your Ground law means,” Jamison said. “It does not mean shoot everybody you’re scared of. It is not a big change from traditional self-defense grounds.”

Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/cleaver-urges-house-resolution-against-vigilante-justice/#storylink=cpy

Hoodie in the House, Cleaver Tells Fox News, Enforce the Dress Code: ALL THE TIME
March 29, 2012

(Rep. Bobby Rush Speaking on the House floor in a hoodie)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) plans to send House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a “friendly, hand-written” note to request that the chamber’s dress code be more strictly enforced, in light of his colleague Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) being removed from the House floor on Wednesday for wearing a hoodie.
Cleaver, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Fox News Wednesday night that some members of the CBC believe Rush was treated unfairly when he was forced to leave the House floor for sporting a hooded sweater to bring attention to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, since it is fairly common practice for members of Congress to ignore the proper attire rules.
“Whenever rules are not enforced, you create the opportunity for somebody to believe they have been singled out,” Cleaver told Fox. “You see during late night votes, people stand in the back with jeans and no jackets and no ties.”
The Missouri Democrat added, “They need to know, we don’t care what the case is or what time of day it is. Those are the rules.”
Rush walked onto the House floor Wednesday wearing a gray hoodie and sunglasses to make a statement about the shooting of Martin, a black teenager who was killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Florida last month.
The congressman said he was escorted off the floor by someone from the Sergeant-At-Arms office after Speaker pro tempore Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) requested that proper dress rules be enforced.
Cleaver told Fox that he hoped Harper would have shown more flexibility with Rush. “The presider should have shown more deference,” he said. “You can put all kinds of motives behind a single action when you don’t enforce the rules.”

Hundreds Rally in KC at Trayvon Martin Protest
March 27, 2012

(photo: Tony’s Kansas City. KC Mayor Sly James at Trayvon Martin Plaza rally)
KC Star:
Here and in cities across the country, crowds gathered Monday to mourn and rally for the 17-year-old high school student Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed a month ago by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
George Zimmerman, 28, says Martin attacked him. The teen’s parents and supporters accuse Zimmerman of racial profiling and shooting an unarmed youth returning to the home of his father’s girlfriend.
“We shouldn’t have to be out here,” said Virginia Alder of Lee’s Summit, one of those who gathered Monday at the J.C. Nichols Fountain near the Country Club Plaza. “We shouldn’t have to rally and get angry. This was about the color of Trayvon’s skin and this thing shouldn’t have gotten this far.”

Martin was black. Zimmerman is the son of a white father and Hispanic mother.
At rallies in Kansas City and elsewhere, people expressed anger and sadness, but perhaps the biggest emotion was disbelief.
People said they have a hard time understanding how Zimmerman could go against police instructions to stand down, then encounter the teen and shoot him.
“You raise your children to be honorable and academically driven and then someone just comes along and kills him,” Artesha Gladney said at the Plaza rally. “Well, I’m here to let the world know it’s not OK to do that to anyone’s kid.”
Keveion Robinson, 18, of south Kansas City, sat nearby in his hoodie with a bag of Skittles.
“You should be able to walk anywhere in this country without anybody following you because they think you’re doing something wrong,” Robinson said. “I’m grieving for his family.”
Zimmerman not being arrested has frustrated many.
“We are trapped between hopelessness and obligation,” Derecka Purnell, one of the organizers of the Kansas City rally, told the crowd.
“How can this happen and nothing be done?”
The political science major at the University of Missouri-Kansas City said if it can happen in Florida, it can happen here.
“We don’t want to wait until a child dies here before we realize KC has a problem,” Purnell said.
For the most part, the Plaza rally was about solidarity and peace.
The first mention of Zimmerman’s name brought only a single boo from the crowd.
Mayor Sly James pushed for racial harmony by having everyone grab somebody’s hand, preferable from another race.
“See, it’s about the same temperature and has the same number of fingers,” James said.
As Dave Winters, a retired Presbyterian pastor, arrived, he pulled on a blue hoodie and surveyed the crowd.
“We saw an incredible tragedy in Florida and it’s important that we get a diverse showing here today,” Winters said.
Then he smiled.
“Particularly with all the hoodies. We can all look suspicious together.”